The Brandeis women’s softball team traveled to Clermont, FL, to begin their season with six games from Feb. 24-26. The team played colleges from all over the country and finished with a 3-3 record.
The Judges began their season on Friday, Feb. 24 with a doubleheader against Middle Georgia State University and Point Park University, both NAIA division opponents. Brandeis was the first to score in the season opener against Middle Georgia, and they had all the runs they needed by the end of the second inning.
Scottie Todd ’20 began the inning with a single, and after an error by Middle Georgia on a bunt by Madison Hunter ’17, the two were on first and second. Todd was ushered home with a single by Marissa DeLaurentis ’19, and Hunter came home on a wild pitch to first base. The Judges added a third run in the fifth inning when Keri Lehtonen ’19 singled to send Laurentis home, who was on second.
Todd was phenomenal in her pitching debut. She pitched a complete game and allowed only one run, which came in the sixth inning. She also struck out five batters, walking none.
Unfortunately, the second game of the doubleheader did not go as smoothly. The Judges gave up eight unanswered runs to Point Park to begin the game, seven of which came on errors. The Judges continued to fight and managed to get two more runs on the board but ended up losing the game 8-2 to finish 1-1 on the day.
The next day, the Judges looked to rebound in their morning game against York College, a Pennsylvania team also competing in Florida for the week. Todd tossed another complete game, giving up just one run in eight innings. She also struck out six and walked three batters.
After a walked batter, Spartans’ first baseman Carleigh Ruleman doubled for both York’s first hit and run of the game. It only took a half inning for the Judges to tie the game, however, when a single by Briana Urena ’20 sent Allison Hecht ’17 home.
The Judges scored their winning run in the eighth inning, when Urena scored from second off a single to center by DeLaurentis. The Judges closed out the game with a quick three outs.
After taking a loss to Otterbein, the last day of the trip followed the same trend as the first two, in which the Judges won their early game and lost their later one. Brandeis began the day against Adrian College with a 5-3 victory. Amanda Shore ’18, DeLaurentis and Marysa Massoia ’19 led the way for Brandeis at the plate, each of which had two hits. Sadie-Rose Apfel ’18 earned her first victory of the season, pitching six innings and only allowing two runs.
In their last game against Hanover College, the Judges played well but could not come back from an early lead by Hanover and fell 6-5. After Brandeis gave up four runs before the second inning ended, Todd came in to toss 5.1 innings and gave up no earned runs. The Judges rallied but ultimately could not close the gap in time.
The Judges may have lost half their games, but the trip was filled with promise for the future. For instance, Todd was named UAA pitcher of the week after going 2-0 and allowing only two runs in 21 innings.
Sophomore DeLaurentis was the team’s best batter of the week, collecting nine hits, four doubles and five RBI. Shore added another six hits and two doubles, and Apfel finished with a 1.68 ERA in 8.1 innings pitched.
The Judges are scheduled to have their home opener on Wednesday, March 8 against Framingham State. They will play a double header, which will begin at 3 p.m.